(Lazy Woodworker's) Night Stand From an Old Drawer

4 Materials
3 Hours

This wooden cube was just too small and sad to be a night stand, so I stuck a drawer on top.

I'm embarrassed to say that the cube above has served as a night stand for a number of years, despite it being too insignificant and too worn to look good.

Conversely, in the garage, in a much shorter period, the stack of used drawers was growing much too significant but equally worn. So, it seemed like a good idea to combine the two and let them balance each other out, kind of like a DIY Yin and Yan.

My only problem was that the back of this drawer was really ugly with the drawer base jutting out and that I don't do woodwork. Fortunately there is a job creation center around the corner, so off I went to find a jigsaw wielding person. To all of you who could instantly run this through your rotary saw in your spectacular backyard workshop with every imaginable tool - this is what the rest of us have to do...

Anyhow, I can report back that the guy used a rotary saw to make a large cut parallel to the side of the drawer and then a jigsaw to cut away the corners. Which left the drawer base flush with the side. He then sanded the edges down with a rotary sander. So at least I know the theory.

Sanding done and dusted - pardon the pun.

Back home, I used wood-filler and my finger to cover the holes where the handles had been, both on the inside and outside of the drawer. After leaving it to dry I sanded it down, together with the whole drawer. I wiped the dust off with a damp cloth.

This is what the wood-filler looked like before sanding it down.

Next, I painted both the drawer and the cube with two coats of chalk paint and a suitable sealer. Strictly speaking you only do the painting after constructing the table but I thought it would be easier to do if it was still in two parts. I figured that I would be able to touch up where necessary. This approach of mine only works if the sealer is a dead match or if you are doing a distressed effect. Otherwise you could complete the painting, then the hammering and touch-ups before you finally paint the sealer. Mine was okay and I managed to get away with using a pencil eraser to remover my hammer marks. But more on that later.

The cube in the process of drying.

For decoration I applied some washi-and electrical tape to the cube because sticking tape is a lot easier than painting stripes. As you can see from the picture above, I went beyond the sides that would be visible. Make sure the tape is very firmly stuck.

I applied wood glue to the top side of the cube and placed the drawer on top of it. I chose to ignore the husband's mumbling about using screws and instead hammered in about 7 short nails as can be seen above. They don't look particularly pretty so I suppose this is why you should only paint after you have driven them. Or at least touch up. Or just use less nails - but the husband was convinced that my creation would come apart, so I wanted to prove him wrong and went for overkill.

My hammer left some grey marks which I removed with the eraser.

And there you have it - a perfectly presentable night stand. Which proves that even the laziest woodworker is capable of cobbling together a piece of furniture.

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3 of 4 questions
  • Kelly J. Tinney Kelly J. Tinney on Nov 22, 2020

    I’m just curious; you have a bunch of stacked up drawers so why not grab a different one that didn’t have any flaws as opposed to having to take the one you did use to a shop to get sawed and sanded and repaired? 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • C C on Nov 22, 2020

    Ha ha, my kitty would love to hop in and knock it over!!

  • Janice Janice on Nov 23, 2020

    I have an old hope chest that’s finish is worn off on edges and corners. The top is a padded seat easy enough to recover. What can I do or use to touch the distressed ares of wood?


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4 of 50 comments
  • Shawna Farmer Shawna Farmer on Dec 03, 2020

    This looks easy enough , I possibly may be able to do this , as I don't have a man, and its my 1st place , with zero woodworking skills , but I do have access to a lot of nice saws and power tools and there's a really great local thrift store/ 2nd hand shop in my small town , never know what you run across , I see beat up dressers and cubes like above all the time , thxz !!! I love that tape too, but I have zero painting skills too!!!

    • Thea Thea on Dec 03, 2020

      It’s good that you don’t have the luxury of falling into that gender stereotype. There are so many women on Hometalk that do amazing carpentry.